Ready to ride

Petty, Walker coming to Cd'A for charity motorcycle ride

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Kyle Petty, seated, leads a charity ride through the western U.S. to raise money for chronically ill children. It starts in Coeur d'Alene. Also participating, left to right, are Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, NFL great Herschel Walker, and at far right, Rutledge Wood, NASCAR SPEED personality and co-host of "Top Gear America."

COEUR d'ALENE - During a weeklong event starting April 27 in Coeur d'Alene, former NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty leads more than 175 motorcyclists on a charity ride through the western U.S.

"Everybody wanted to go back to Coeur d'Alene," Petty told The Press on Monday. "It's so pretty to ride out from there. We always try and start at a really nice place."

Petty will be joined by former NFL great and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker.

"Herschel has been doing it for years," Petty said. "He's got more motorcycles than anybody I know."

In a press release, Walker said, "It's truly a blessing to be a part of this experience."

The 19th anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America ends May 3 in Tempe, Ariz., after traveling more than 2,000 miles.

The charity ride raises funds and awareness for what's called Victory Junction, a camp created to enrich the lives of children with chronic medical illnesses.

In the past nine years, more than 7,650 children attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families. The camp, located in Randleman, N.C., has served as the ride's primary beneficiary since its establishment by the Petty family in 2004 in honor of their late son, Adam.

Petty said many of the participants will use Coeur d'Alene as their base for about a week leading up to the trek.

On April 27, riders travel south through Idaho from Coeur d'Alene to Boise. They depart at 8:15 a.m. from The Coeur d'Alene Resort, where they are staying.

The best time for the public to meet Petty, Walker and other riders is 7:30 a.m. The riders will all be available to sign autographs.

Fans can also donate to the ride's "Small Change. Big Impact." program, which goes to Victory Junction.

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